La Relatos is a new(ish) cigar from Warped, but it is also an old cigar from Warped.
Allow me to explain:
How is it new(ish)? La Relatos was released at the 2018 IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas. The interesting wrinkle in the narrative is that the blend is about a decade old. Kyle Gellis, owner of Warped Cigars (and grower of a glorious beard), came up with this blend about 10 years ago, when he tentatively debuted an early iteration of Warped before regrouping for the company’s relaunch in 2014. Kyle now brings La Relatos to market once more, allowing cigar smokers a look back into Warped’s past. Pretty cool, right?
La Relatos “The First” Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan (Corojo ’99 | Criollo ’98)
- Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (Nicaragua)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 6″ × 38 (Panatela)
- Price: $9.30 (MSRP)
La Relatos arrives packaged in five-count packs, a style that is somewhat frequent to Cuban-made brands, yet not commonly seen in the US market. This is another throwback to the early days of Warped, before the company’s now-common usage of 10 and 20-count boxes (as well as the occasional 10-count paper bundle).
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The first time I saw this cigar it took me a minute to figure out what it was. The simple purple and silver band is somehow understated and elegant at the same time, with text that reads “Warped 2018 La Relatos by Kyle Gellis.” The part I found interesting was the inclusion of the year. Is this meant to differentiate this initial release from future production? I’ve seen a few reports that La Relatos will be a regular production in as many as three different vitolas, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
The cigar itself borrows from Cuban influence in size, as do most offerings from Warped. The wrapper is a shade darker than the Nicaraguan leaves that typically adorn Warped’s TABSA-made blends. This is of added interest, being only the second time Warped has used a non-Nicaraguan leaf on a cigar made by the Fernández family (the first being the Villa Sombra). This Ecuadorian leaf is smooth to the touch, showing clean seams and light veins throughout. The cigar is uniformly medium-soft to the touch, having a light feel in the hand; but the construction feels well-built overall.
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I was excited about this cigar for several reasons: (a) it’s my first review for the Dojo; (b) I’ve consistently enjoyed Warped’s releases, dating back to the company’s original El Oso brand; and (c) I absolutely LOVE this vitola.
I have a pre-light ritual that I perform with every cigar I smoke. This sounds familiar because you do as well—we all do. During said ritual, I take several cold draws to get an idea what I’m in for. The cold draw from La Relatos let me know two things: I was in for some serious flavor, and it was going to take some work, as the draw was a bit tight. The wrapper gave off some notes of oatmeal, milk chocolate, and mild cinnamon.
The first third was everything I was hoping for, aside from the snug draw. I was hit with sweet molasses, black pepper, and buttered toast within the first few draws. The flavor was full and very dry. After the first inch, the profile really filled out and took on a nice richness. The flavors really intensified, while the strength stayed in the medium range.
Everything was moving along nicely until someone turned out the lights at the two-inch mark. The cigar’s pleasant sweetness completely disappeared—a major disappointment for me. The aforementioned notes were replaced by a dry earthiness that, unfortunately, became the focal point. The black pepper spice subsided as well, leaving me with a dry, earthy profile.
The final third was more of the same. Dry, earthy notes filled the profile, leaving little room for anything else. The black pepper notes did find their way back into the fold, but the sweetness that shined early on never returned.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
To my surprise, and maybe yours, I would. The first third was very rewarding and that gives me some hope. Another reason I’ll give this one another shot is the reputation of the company. As I said earlier, I have always enjoyed Warped’s cigars and I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt (despite the experience from two review samples). I would not buy a fiver, nor would I seek this cigar out, but if one happened across my desk in the future, I’d be willing to give it another go.
If you like earthy profiles, give this one a shot—the modest price point warrants at least a one-time sampling.
- I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am to be back in the world of cigar media and part of the Cigar Dojo team. I’m thrilled to be working closely with Eric and Jordan and I hope to get to know the Dojo community better in the coming months.
- La Relatos translates to “the stories.”
- Flavor: Medium
- Strength: Medium
- Body: Medium
- Black pepper
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Ron Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva rum (something on the sweet side) | Root beer | Dry Irish stout
- Purchase Recommendation: Pick up a single if you like an earthy flavor profile
- Good burn
- Exciting size
- Tough draw
- Fairly one-noted after the first third